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Henry Daniel SEYMOUR





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: August 3, 1931
Date of birth: 1879
Victim profile: Anne Louisa Kempson, 54
Method of murder: Hitting with a hammer and stabbing with a chisel
Location: Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Status: Executed by hanging at Oxford prison on December 10, 1931

On 10 December 1931 fifty two year old Henry Daniel Seymour was hanged for the murder of Mrs Anne Louisa Kempson. He attacked her with a hammer and a chisel, and then ransacked the house to see what he could steal. He was tried at Oxford in October 1931 and sentenced to death. 


Henry Daniel Seymour

The body of 54-year-old widow, Mrs Anne Louisa Kempson, was found in her ransacked Oxford home in August 1931. She had been battered to death and a sharp instrument had been pushed through her throat.

Police started house-to-house inquiries and when they interviewed a Mrs Andrews she told them of a 39-year-old vacuum-cleaner salesman, named Seymour, who had called on her the day before the murder. The salesman had told Mrs Andrews that his money had been stolen while he had been swimming. She had lent him some money and he had left but returned later telling her, and her husband, that he had missed the bus. They had put him up for the night.

The next morning, Mrs Andrews told police, she had examined a brown parcel that Seymour left in the hallway of the house and contained a new hammer and chisel. The man took the parcel when he left. It was only a ten-minute walk to Mrs Kempson's house.

Police checked local ironmongers shops and found one proprietor that remembered selling a hammer and a chisel and he gave police a description of the purchaser. It also transpired that the man had previously sold a vacuum cleaner to Mrs Kempson. Meanwhile, in Aylesbury, the manager of an hotel had retained a suitcase in lieu of payment. When he opened it he found, among the clothes, a well-scrubbed hammer with the brand labels removed. Police identified the owner of the case as Seymour and traced him to Brighton where he was arrested and, on 15th August, was charged with murder.

Seymour's trial opened at Oxford in October 1931. Several lies were exposed in his defence and, on the 24th, he was duly found guilty. He was executed at Oxford Prison on 10th December 1931.


Kempson, Anne Louisa

It was to be a sad August Bank Holiday for Mrs Annie Louisa Kempson. A 54 year old widow who had been the wife of a tradesman, she was murdered by Henry Daniel Seymour on 3 August 1931.

Her body was found in her Oxford home, a small semi-detached house in St Clements Street called the Boundary, which had been ransacked. He had struck her across the head with a heavy object and had then stabbed her with a sharp instrument which he had pushed through her throat.

The weapons were thought to have been a Hammer and a Chisel. In the opinion of the pathologist on the case, Bernard Spilsbury, she had been struck several times over the head but it had been the wound to the neck that had actually killed her. 

Seymour was hanged Dec. 10th 1931 at Oxford prison.



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